Story by Jeline Abutin.
She’s seen in films such as The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as well as the Spirit Award-nominated film Rampart. Now, Chuti Tiu has released her very own screenplay Pretty Rosebud.
Pretty Rosebud, directed by Oscar Torre, is a film about a frustrated, career driven woman who is stuck in an unhappy marriage. Bound by cultural, religious and family traditions, Cissy, played by Tiu, breaks societal taboos in search for her true path in life.
“The film definitely deals with what is right and what is wrong and a lot of times in life we like to put the blame on other people,” said Tiu. “In this film, what [the director] and I really strived to do was to make sure that even though you kind of root for the main character Cissy, we didn’t want to make her husband the bad guy. So the challenge was to treat both of them fairly and show that in any marriage that is falling apart, there’s not just one person to blame. It takes two.”
In the film, Tiu’s character tries her hardest to be a good daughter, a good wife and a good worker. Striving to achieve perfection is something Asian American women and Asian Americans in general can somewhat relate to, said Tiu.
“Traditionally, our culture holds excellence in such high regard — in music, in sports and in grades. In everything,” said Tiu. “There’s also the guilt of how good of a child you are to your parents. I think all cultures have it, but I really think our culture has a very strong tie. Sometimes I’m very proud of it and [other times] I think it feels like such a burden. The idea of disappointing your parents, whom you love, feels like such a huge weight.”
Rarely seeing films that reflected an Asian American woman’s experience, Tiu took matters into her own hands with Pretty Rosebud.
“I think that we have a very special voice,” said Tiu. “What I want people to come away with is a story you can relate to and finally feel like ‘yay, my culture, my experience, my stories have been given a voice’ and for people whose background isn’t very similar, hopefully they will be enlightened on this aspect of Asian American culture and they’ll also find things they can relate to.”
Pretty Rosebud has been accepted to the Big Island Film Festival in Hawaii May 22-26 and will also be shown in The Asian Film Festival of Dallas on July 10-17.